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Ten hot ethical challenges facing political reporting in 2012

September 28, 2012 in Blog, Craft

Gregory Korte

USA Today reporter Gregory Korte tells the crowd at the 2012 Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop why he sometimes agrees to quote approval. Credit: Kent State University

Journalism Accelerator

“The values of journalism are under pressure.” With that remark, Kelly McBride of The Poynter Institute set the stage for “Dirty Politics,” the 2012 ethics workshop at Kent State University.

Here are ten hot ethical challenges in political coverage that emerged from the workshop. Join in the series of online conversations exploring ways to handle them. Bring your questions! Bring your experience! Help uncover ethical issues in political coverage that require clarity to provide the accurate reporting people deserve to inform their vote. Read the rest of this entry →

Reporters’ Lab: Tools, Techniques & Research for Public Affairs Reporting

February 24, 2012 in Craft, Resources, Technology

Every day, government offices from the local police department to the federal Department of Energy generate artifacts that could become vital elements in investigative and other original journalism. Even when reporters can pry those records from agency warehouses and hard drives, the stories are still hidden in hours of videos, stacks of forms and gigabytes of data housed in unfriendly formats.

More troubling, the full-time reporters who ply their trade in city halls and statehouses are disappearing,  A 2011 study by the Federal Communications Commission documented the decline of local watchdog reporting and described a resulting ‘shift in the balance of power — away from citizens, toward powerful institutions.’

Our goal at the Reporters’ Lab can be stated quite simply: Narrow the power gap by arming on-the-ground reporters with the tools, methods and techniques used by their sources and those working in better-funded disciplines. We want to build the infrastructure that will empower journalists — no matter where they are, what they cover or what job title they carry — by reducing the cost and difficulty of finding, understanding and documenting stories of public interest.” Source: Reporters’ Lab

SeeClickFix

November 23, 2011 in Community, Experiments, Resources, Technology

SeeClickFix is a free mobile phone and web tool that allows citizens to report and document non-emergency issues to communicate them to those accountable for the public space. Issues that are reported through the website are recorded on a map for everyone to see and interact with. Anyone can receive email alerts on the issues based on a filter by geographical area and keyword…We believe in the power of technology to promote:

  • Transparency – Governments and most organizations work best when they conduct their business in plain view. We’ll do our best to do the same.
  • Collaboration – Four brains are better than one. And millions of brains are better than three. Our goal is to give everyone else the tools to accomplish what we never could ourselves. Open source software and wikis are good models for us.
  • Scale – We could have created a site that focused on our home town. Using the internet and all the tools others have created, we want to reach as many people as possible around the globe. Massive scale, please.
  • Efficiency – Although paper has its place, there is a lot more room for the web and the mobile phone. Rather than re-invent the wheel, our site is built on open source software and Google maps.” Source: SeeClickFix

“Local governments and media outlets across the country are using SeeClickFix to stay up-to-date on the issues that have the most immediate impact on the health of our communities.

Publicly documented SeeClickFix issues quickly become the seeds for news stories, investigative reports, and citizen advocacy pieces. Our platform gives you a window into the public debate and organizes the issues in a way that makes it easy to discern which are most pressing and likely to generate immediate attention.

SeeClickFix has media partnerships with hundreds of media outlets around the country. Besides helping to source local stories, our Text and Map Widgets help to enhance the user experience on your website. Our widgets display the most important issues that have been reported in your area and allow users to report issues of their own right on your site. Generating a widget takes only a few clicks, and will help make your site more interactive and more relevant to the day-to-day concerns of your readership.

Our partnerships with media outlets are mutually beneficial. We drive traffic to local news sites, while our community of users grows and develops in new locations. These collaborations create new space for public dialogue, connect civically engaged members of the community, and help citizens hold local governments accountable.” SourceSeeClickFix